Many years ago when the church sent our family to Disney World, I remember being overwhelmed by the Magic Kingdom. The parking lot that can hold 75,000 vehicles. The Disney characters walking down the streets. Space Mountain. But one of my favorite things was the animatronics. Back then it was country bears and the Hall of Presidents. Today they have Buzz Lightyear, Pirates of the Caribbean and many more.
And what was so amazing to me is how life-like these figures were. They could stand up and sit down. They could move and talk like real people. It was an amazing feat of engineering back then. People who look and act real—but they aren’t. They’re just machines with wires and hydraulics—simply programmed to do things.
They have the appearance of reality on the outside, but are really just imitations on the inside. What we’re going to see in the next few verses is that James says many professing Christians are like this. They have a form of godliness on the outside, but nothing on the inside. They claim to have faith. But their faith isn’t real. They’re not real Christians.